A genetic disorder that primarily affects
the long bones in the body. It is most noticeable in the front legs.
The Alaskan Malamute Club of America offers certification for dogs
considered to be clear of the recessive gene. The picture is of Nori, a
An abnormality of the hip joint. It can
result in lameness to varying degrees of severity. Diagnosis is by
x-ray, and dogs with normal hips are eligible for certification by
the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). Ratings offered for OFA certified
dogs are Excellent, Good, and Fair. For a more in-depth look
at hip dysplasia, see our brochure canine hip dysplasia.
A clouding of the lens of the eye, resulting
in partial loss of vision. It is considered to be hereditary but the
exact method of inheritence is not known. Animals used for breeding
should be checked by a veterinary ophthalmologist. Certification
for dogs with clear eyes is offered by CERF.
Also known as hemeralopia or cone degeneration.
Affected dogs stumble into objects in bright lighting conditions. They see normally in
dim lighting conditions. This is a hereditary condition. See
"Day Blindness" by Dr. Ken Bourns.
Underactive thyroid gland. The condition is
sometimes characterized by excessive weight gain, poor coat, infertility, lethargy,
and lack of endurance.
Bloat and Torsion
Bloat involves the swelling up of the stomach
from gas or fluds or both. Once distended, the stomach may abruptly twist. A twist
of 180 degrees or less is called torsion. A twist of greater than 180 degrees
is called volvulus. Bloat is any of the three conditions; acute gastric
dilation, torsion or volvulus. These are life threatening conditions and require
immediate veterinary care. Symptoms include excessive salivation and drooling,
abdominal pain and distention, and extreme restlessness. Bloat can be caused by
overeating, drinking excessively after eating, or vigorous exercise within a couple
of hours after eating.
Coat funk is a condition that affects the coat of mature
dogs, and can lead to almost complete loss of the coat. The condition is not
understood, but there is some evidence to indicate it is carried on the x-chromosome.
There is a much longer discussion of coat funk
elsewhere in this section.